Tuesday, December 18, 2012


Well, the adoption process we've been on has taken us significantly longer than we had originally thought.  From the time we were first accepted into the Ethiopia program at America World Adoption Association (April 20, 2010), through our paper-chasing stage which concluded when we sent our Dossier To Ethiopia (DTE - November 19, 2010), and finally through our waiting stage up to now, we have been in this process for 2 years, 7 months, and 8 days.  Of that time, we have been at the top of our agency wait list for 5 months and 1 day, each day during the week bringing with it the excitement and opportunity that maybe it is the day we get "THE CALL," and then the inevitable disappointment that has come when it doesn't happen.  This has been a roller-coaster ride, for sure, and through it all we have been incredibly blessed by the many people in our lives who have supported us financially, emotionally, and certainly through prayer.

It is with great excitement and joy that I am finally able to say that on Wednesday November 28 at 10:33am, we received a call from our agency to let us know that we have been given a referral for a 19 month old girl.  GOD IS SO GOOD!  We are incredibly happy that God has continued to grow our family through adoption, and has blessed us with a beautiful baby girl.  Since we still have a ways to go, here is a short synopsis of what comes next for us:

  • After our agency receives our referral acceptance, they will work with the Ethiopian government to set a court date for us in Ethiopia.  Court dates usually come about a month after our referral, which likely means that we will be traveling in late December or early January.
  • Once we pass court, we will have legally adopted her according to the Ethiopian government.  However, we will still need to wait for approval from the U.S. Embassy in order for her to receive a Visa which allows her to enter the U.S.
  • After the Embassy reviews the paperwork, we will have to travel back to Ethiopia for our second trip for an interview with the Embassy, and receive her Visa so we can bring her home.
We have estimates of how long the rest of the process will take (hopefully we'll be bringing her home in February or March), but the reality is that there are no guarantees when it comes to the time it takes for each of these steps to be successfully completed.  We would also love to give you more information and pictures, but at this point she's not yet legally our daughter.  However, rest assured that we will keep you all posted with more information as we are able.

We thank you all for being with us through this, and ask that you continue to pray that God will grant us a swift conclusion to this chapter of our adoption story, without complications or hang-ups, and that we will be able to bring our daughter home quickly.

Monday, November 19, 2012

2 years

Two years ago today we were in Florida visiting our friends for Thanksgiving. We received an email from our family coordinator telling us we were officially DTE. That means that our documents were sent to Ethiopia. We were finally waiting. We were number  31 on the list. Things were moving. The wait time at that point was 7-11 months, but some people were moving much faster. We were getting our girl! We were so excited.

The times have been pushed back several times now. Today makes two years of waiting. I believe we along with one other family have broken a record at our agency. :) This week is a short business week for our agency. We don't anticipate a call before Thanksgiving. They have extended wait times to 18 to 30 months so we may have more time on our hands. As we have seen the wait times are a very rough estimate.

I am thankful for this time though. Since we have been waiting lots of great things have happened. We are blessed beyond measure. We have made friends. We have been blessed by prayers, hugs, and financial support toward our adoption. I have learned so many lessons. It is hard waiting, but I am thankful for the wait. God knows what we can handle, and he never leaves us alone through it. We are praying it is soon that we get the call and see our daughters face. For today, we will be thankful for these two years, and we will pray for patience as we wait on God's timing.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

pins and needles

Ok, so I don't want to think about it, but I can't stop. If we don't get a referral tomorrow we will be waiting at least two years. At this point we have already waited longer than any one else. (To my knowledge), but we will break the two year mark on Monday. Since there is no one in the office on weekends to give referrals tomorrow is our last shot to be within two years.

I would so love to have a referral now before the holidays, but alas, I am trying hard not to get too anxious. I'm just trying to remember that it will come in perfect timing. Dear God, please let tomorrow be perfect!  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

20 weeks

Today is the 20 week mark for being number one. Who knew. I remember like it was yesterday when we found out we were number one. My stomach was in knots. It was all of a sudden real. This thing we had been waiting for was finally going to happen. That was in June. Now it is November and in some ways I feel further away than when we started this whole thing.

God is good. I know He has a plan. I know it is a good plan. I know it is all in His timing. I know that none of this surprises Him. So, I try to just breathe. I try hard to just live. I try to pray and hope and believe.

I am working to find the balance in the wait. The balance between avoiding and obsession. The balance between excitement and fear. The balance between living and longing. The balance between surrender and hope. I fight back tears most days. Once they start it is hard to stop. I want to dream about my baby girl, but I am a little scared because what if none of those dreams work out.

This wait is painful. It is a good pain. I have learned lots. I am still learning lots. I am so blessed. God had protected me from so much. It is good for me to wait. It is good for me to learn to give up all control. It is good for me to have to surrender my plans.

At this point there seems to be no timeline. My heart hurts for those who are below us on the list. Their wait will be even longer unless something drastically changes. The time frame right now is 18-30 months. It was 7-11 for an infant girl when we started. This wait has been unexpected. It has been long, but God knows what was needed. He knows who my daughter is. He knows her personality. He knows her favorite color. He knows every hair on her gorgeous little head. He knows how much this momma loves her. And He loves her even more. She will be worth the wait.

So for now we are praying. We are praying for Ethiopia. We are praying for clearances so these orphans can go home. We are praying for the staff who are caring for our baby. We are praying for others in the program because we are not the only ones waiting. We are praying for the staff at our agency.  We are praying for our daughter that she is safe, warm, has food, and is being loved on until we get her here in our arms. We pray for our family for peace and patience during the wait. We pray we see her face soon, and get to hold her in her arms soon. Most of all we pray God's will be done.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Hard reminders

Lately, I feel like I have been a lot like Eeyore. I feel like there has been this storm cloud of bummers hanging over my head. There is this cycle of complaining that I have going for me at the moment. I have a long list of wants that I can't do anything about. The things I want aren't bad things, but they are things I know I can't have right now. I want our baby girl home, I want a house that fits our family a little better, I want to meet our financial goals. But our adoption process seems never ending. And we can't move until our daughter is home. We are continuing to pursue our savings goals, but we have no idea what that will look like when we add another child with potentially expensive medical needs. I feel stuck and whiny. I hate whining, but I am still doing it.

This week has been one of those weeks that has made me rethink some of my struggles. There is a family in our church who was in an accident and they lost their 3 year old. Rethink how blessed I am to have the time I have with the children the Lord has blessed me with right now. Last night we heard a friend who we served in youth group with several years ago passed away. It was another sudden and unexpected death. He was a husband and father to two little boys. Rethink how blessed I am to have my husband here to provide for us and father our boys. This morning I was chatting with a friend who lives in a rougher neighborhood. Last night gunshots were fired into her yard. Rethink this house I want out of so bad. It is safe and we are happy in it.

It is hard in the midst of a long wait to see outside of it sometimes. I am so blessed. I am blessed to have a husband I adore. I have three happy and healthy boys. I have a messy, chaotic, tiny, home that is filled with love, laughter, memories, and joy. I am so looking forward to the day when the chaos increases. When my laundry overflows not only with blue, but also with pink and purple. I beg God for the time when I get to wake up a little early because I will actually have to do one of my children's hair. Until then I will try to keep a balance of longing for what God has in store and what God has for me now. I will do my best to cherish today because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Wait times

Today our family coordinator called. Not to give us our referral, but to tell us it is probably going to be longer. We will hit the 23 month mark on the wait list next week. Wait times are projected to be between 18-24 months right now. Once those at the top of the list pass that they will officially raise the times. Well, they anticipate that our wait will exceed the current times. There is a fairly good chance we won't even have a referral by Christmas.

I am thankful they are keeping us informed, but that is hard news to hear. We are praying that we see our baby soon. It hard to believe that we are still waiting. In the amount of time it is taking to get our daughter we had 3 children! I am trusting God's timing. I know he is faithful. But honestly the wait is still really hard. I am very ready. I guess we will just keep waiting until the day God is ready for us to have her. Whenever that may be...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

past the puking

I threw up a lot when I was pregnant. I thought I was dying with Isaac. I was sick at least 10 times a day. I loathe the first trimester of pregnancy.

In keeping with tradition this I am comparing our adoption to pregnancy. We have been at #1 on the list for 14 weeks now. We have gotten past the first trimester if you will. I still threw up until about week 16, but for all medical purposes we will say one trimester down. I have done a little better the past week. I am still so ready. However, I am doing my best to take all my timing out of it. It helps a little. (I mean a very little).

I'm curious what the record is for being #1. :) We are at three and a half months now. I think there have been people in the position for longer. I am ok not taking the record. :)

Monday, October 1, 2012


Well, we will have been number one for 14 weeks on Wednesday. We had a conference call last week. They told us not to anticipate any court dates until November or  December. This was hard to hear. Our hope has been that she would be home by Christmas. At this point we may not even meet our daughter by then. So I am doing my best to rearrange my mental time line...again. I think I have decided to try to stop with hopeful deadlines. We have had lots of small goals or hopeful time lines. Each one came and went with a crushing emotional punch in the stomach.

It isn't that I have lost hope. I am still trusting God will bring her home...someday. I just have to let go of any idea of timing. This is extremely hard for me. I have no idea what to answer when asked when she is coming home. The truth is we have NO idea. It could be early next year or late next year or in two years. We really really don't know. I think for now at least I am trying to stop guessing.

The hard part is living in the not knowing. Our kids are getting bigger. We are getting older. Is this God closing the door on anymore kids after our baby girl? Our house is getting tighter. Thankfully we have boys because our bathroom space is very limited. Our storage is gone. We can't move until this process has ended. That is very hard. All our boys are close in age. This gap seems so big between our youngest two and it is only getting bigger as time goes on. The tax credit we had hoped for to help with the adoption costs may not be available by the time we bring her home. If we have to travel near Christmas plane tickets are much more costly. All things that seem like hurdles. I know God is in control and he has a plan. I just can't really see where it is going at this point.

So that is where we are at. It isn't very much info, but it is what we have. Courts do open back up today. So we are hoping that it isn't too much longer before we see our girl's face. It sounds like paperwork is taking even longer again. We are praying that clearances come through for lots of babies. There are a lot of families waiting for their babies. We know God has a heart for the orphans and he loves them.

Monday, September 10, 2012

water breaking

I keep comparing our referral to labor. In some ways it is the adoptions version of it. I mean it is painful, long, and at the end you get a baby. I would say this stage of the wait is the third trimester stage. For me, the third trimester was not super fun. I was huge, uncomfortable, and willing to do any means necessary to get this kid out of me. I realized there was more pain to come. In fact the real pain hadn't begun. However, I was so done being pregnant I was happy to enter the next stage.

In so many ways that is where I am now. I am fully aware the next phase will be increasingly more agonizing. I have no real way of knowing what to expect. But I am in the hugely impatient, can it be over, I am super uncomfortable phase. All I know at this moment is I am ready to move forward.

One thing I remember about being in the last few weeks was the fear of my water breaking in public. I didn't want to be at a friend's house and make a mess. I didn't want to be driving and have no idea where to stop. I didn't want to have a movie moment in the grocery store. Enter my controlling nature. I want this, but I want it only this way. I find myself there once again with the referral call. I want it, but I want it at home. I know that when it happens that I will turn into a ball of sobbing mush. I really don't need the world to see my ugly laugh cry thing I do when I 'm so happy I cry. Trust me folks it isn't pretty. Neither is pride though. Obviously, I have a little bit of a struggle with that... I want my referral so bad, but I want it on my time and my scenario. Ah, how silly I can be. I guess I will keep waiting and be surprised for my moment to turn to mush. We shall see what God has planned for our story.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Labor pains

When I was in labor with each of my boys. There was a breaking point. Each labor has a different story and time frame. But with each one I hit a point when I said something along the lines of "I can't do this anymore." It hurt so bad I wanted it to just end. I needed it to stop.

I feel like I'm there with this wait. Today as I was praying I just asked God to make it stop. I can't do this anymore. It hurts so bad. I NEED to see my baby. I need to know who she is. This wait is crazy painful. I'm emotionally tired. I'm physically exhausted. I am just so ready for this to be over. I know that at this point I am waiting only to wait some more. The reality is. Once we get our referral we will wait yet again for a court date. Then we will wait for Embassy. I know the waiting will continue. I just am so wore out from this wait. I just keep praying that God will allow us to see our girl soon. I am very ready.

Friday, August 24, 2012


Today is a busy day. We have a playdate with some friends today. I am looking forward to spending time with some of my fave mommy friends and my kiddos fave friends too. I have lots of errands to run. Tomorrow I am helping to throw a shower for a dear friend who is having her first baby. So there is food to make, games to plan, gifts to wrap, and lots of things to just get together. We have a pool party tomorrow also. So I need to get food for that ready, swimsuits packed, towels together, and get it all put in the van so it is ready. My to do list today is longer than normal. We have fun stuff planned. In a normal world my mind would be focused on all that.

But it is the Friday after court closures. It is my 8th Friday at #1. It has to happen soon, right? I realize at this point if I get a referral we have to wait until courts reopen to get a court date. I know that will be hard. But when we accept a referral she goes into the transition home. This means I know she is being fed, and loved on. I know that she is safe. She has medical care. We will get updates and pictures. We can send care packages. Even if I am not with her I will get to know a little bit about her. I will get to know a little more of her life. I'm so ready! Today I am hopeful. We will see how the day goes. Maybe today is the day God lets me see my baby's face.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Most days I am run through a list of emotions. I feel sad, impatient, anxious, crazy, joyful, angry, and helpless most mornings by 7am. Most of the time each of these emotions is fleeting. Usually the sadness is quick. The anger is infrequent. The anxiousness passes. The good stuff stays.

I am blessed. The joy of the Lord is my strength. I am thankful for all the good gifts in my life. The beauty of this process is that I have been shown just how precious the body of Christ is. Friends old and new have surrounded us with love, financial support, emotional support, and prayer. Through this journey we have been sent encouraging cards from friends we haven't seen in years. We have received texts, calls, messages, and hugs at just the right time. I am blessed. If you have prayed for us, supported us, loved on us, or encouraged us through this, thank you. You will never know how thankful we are. There are no words to tell you how full my heart is with thanks.

When we first started our adoption journey we thought we would have to raise a substantial sum of money. We thought that we would have to wait a long time. We  knew this was going to be tough. But we knew God is tougher than anything. He has called us to this. He is faithful to complete it. We trust in that. The reality is we will be needing almost twice what our initial cost estimate was. We will be waiting at least twice as long as we had anticipated. When we look at the numbers it is daunting. But hear this. GOD IS SO MUCH BIGGER. We have almost raised enough to fund the entire adoption and not have any debt. God is a big God. We have a small bit to go, but God has taken care of everything so far and we have confidence he will provide the rest. This is nothing we have done. We have three little boys, a mortgage, a growing grocery bill, and just do our best to live within our means. We are by no means crazy wealthy. God is just bigger than a bank account.

If you have ever thought about adopting. Then you look at the cost. You look at the time. You look at the risk factors. Don't be turned off. If God places the call to adopt in your heart he will take care of the details. We are in the thick of the hard part. It hurts. The waiting is excruciating. It is a lot of work. It is expensive. Please hear me. It is worth it! I am already so thankful for all God has taught me, brought me through, and provided. The day we hold our baby girl in our arms all the wait will melt away as a memory. An orphan will find a home. We will finally have our daughter. And it will be worth every bit of it. I am thankful for all of it. It is part of the story God has for me, my family, and my baby girl. Thank you for the part you have played in my story. Thank you so much!

Monday, August 20, 2012


This weekend was very emotionally interesting. Friday we went shopping. I wanted to get Levi a new outfit for preschool. He is the 3rd boy. So most of his clothes are hand me downs. He was so excited to get some new digs. Because we found some great clearance he got several new outfits. I love me a deal. We enjoyed our family time, and then went to bed way to late. As is customary in our house.

Saturday morning we slept in, and then had a huge breakfast. I did some chores. Dan did the lawn. Then I sat down and checked all my emails, facebook and yahoo groups. At that point I saw that one of the families got a referral. There were 3 of us in the #1 spot. One family is requesting a baby boy, one a baby girl (that's us), and one family was either. The family who is either received a referral for a 4 month old baby girl. I feel like I have gotten teary at almost every referral thus far. Each one means another baby is going to be in a forever family. Plus, the selfish bonus was that we move up a spot on the list. However, this time. I read the referral I smiled for them. Then it hit. I read the post. I covered my face and like a bad lifetime movie I snuck in the laundry room, shut the door, and sobbed like a baby.

It is hard to explain it. I am sobbing because I am happy for this family. I am sobbing because I am desperately sad we didn't get a call as well. I'm sobbing out of frustration for the time it has taken. I am sobbing out of loss of something that was never mine. I was just sobbing. I had my face in my hands trying to muffle the sounds of my crying. The door started to push open. It was Dan. He gave me a hug and I tried to dry up my tears. Isaac was standing concerned outside the door. I walked out and he looked up at me. "Mom, I know you miss Amelia, I do too..." (long pause trying to think of anything to say) "But we have fun sometimes right now." I smiled, "yes we do!" He was so proud.  "I knew that would cheer you up. " 

God has blessed me in this wait. He really has, but the waiting is hard. Yesterday was 21 months of waiting to meet our baby. Most days I do ok. Not great, but I deal. Some days I struggle. Courts close on Wednesday until October 1. So even if we get a referral we won't get to travel until at least October. So that adds another layer of emotion to it all.

Yesterday I got a text from my mother in law. My husband's Gramps was being taken to the hospital. So, I start mentally going through our busy week. Thinking about what we need to do if we need to go back home to see him. Then of course, I just want to get the referral soon so Gramps can at least see her picture. But, God knows timing. I don't need to worry about the things I have no control over.

So we start this Monday. Praying again that this is the week we see our baby girl's face. After almost 2 months of being #1 I am ready to pass the torch to some one else. Praying for her to still be home by Christmas (which would be a miracle at this point). Praying for Grandpa. Praying for emotional stability. Praying for patience and peace. Praying for Amelia's health and that some one is showing her love. Praying continually.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Well, it's Friday

Fridays are the mornings I look forward to and dread every week. Many referrals seem to happen on Fridays. So, the idea that "Today could be the day" seems even stronger on Fridays. Today I want to rejoice in what I do have not what I am waiting for. So here is a list of the little happies from this morning.

Levi and Asher came bouncing down the stairs wearing the same PJs. Adorable. 
So many hugs. 5 little ones have given me hugs and snuggles today. 
Chocolate. Shallow, yes, but I am so thankful for it. 
A hard working, God following, loving leader of a hubby. 
A messy, happy, busy home. 
Dance parties in the middle of the day.
God's word and the encouragement and comfort I only find in it. 
Sweaty headed, sticky fingered, dirty kneed little boys. They keep me busy and make me smile. 
Ethiopian coffee shared by friends
Summer rain

So many other little things that just remind me that God is so good and he loves me.

Friday, August 3, 2012


Ah, yes, it's Friday again. I have such mixed feelings about Friday. On one hand, I love the strong possibility of referrals. On the other hand I hate that I jump every time my phone rings. And my heart sinks when it isn't my agency. Fridays are a tease...So, today I woke up hopeful. I do most mornings. I jump out of bed thinking this could be the day! My stomach goes all butterflies. When I think about getting the call it is like being a Jr. High girl. You know, when the guy you like accidentally brushes up against you and internally your stomach is doing the worm. Yea, that's the feeling I get when I think about the call! We are talking butterflies of EPIC proportions.

So, I got out of bed this morning. As I am praying I felt like God just spoke the word "faithfulness" to me. I realize this is not a burning bush moment or anything, but nonetheless it was what God had for me this morning. He is faithful. Always has been. Always will be. He knows exactly who our daughter is. He knows her name. He knows each hair on her precious little baby head. (Oh, I can't wait to play with that hair!) He knows I yearn for my girl. He knows my heart hurts for her. He gets it. He hasn't left any of us hanging in this. God is faithful. It is who he is. It is his nature. I know he has brought us here. He is not going to leave us in this place forever. (Even if it feels like it some days).

The real test of faith is right about now. It is easy to be hopeful in the morning. But by 2-3 pm you are kind of feeling like this may never happen. I know it will. Trust me. I just feel like we will be waiting forever. So, I reserve this hour as a do nothing kind of time. Wait by the phone. Maybe watch a show, but don't leave the house, take a shower, or call a friend. Heaven forbid, you call a friend and the phone is busy when the agency calls! I know I sound like a freak. I am giving you the honest to goodness truth. By 5pm when the phone hasn't rang on a Friday. I have a good sob. Pray that next week is the week and go on with the weekend.

God is faithful. I know his timing is perfect. When we do get the call we will go absolutely insane and the whole neighborhood will know. I wait for that day with butterflies of anticipation. I know it is coming. I long for it. Who knows, this Friday isn't over. It could still be today. Or next week, or next month, but it will come. We will see our baby girl's face. And it will be the perfect time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday again

It's Friday again. The name of the game is to stay busy. Fridays are known to have the most referrals. You could get a call any day, but for some reason Friday seems to be the big one. So, I have two options. #1 is to sit in my house by my phone all day begging it to ring. I have done this. It isn't pretty, but it has been known to happen. #2 Do stuff. Lots and lots of stuff. So, today we have done stuff. We went to Sam's found a whole bunch of reduced meat. Brought it home and stuck everything in the fridge. Went to the park and played and had lunch. Came home for nap time. Enlisted Abigail to help me with an impromptu mini freezer cook with said meet. We made 8 meals so far and I have one more pack to sort and freeze for the grill. Now I am on to laundry. Then I will do floors. I have few ideas for tonight all of which are fun, upbeat, and with people I love being around. Staying busy at this point is my main line of defense (aside of course from God) against insanity. I am keeping a to do list going to keep my time passing.

It may seem wildly productive, but yet my house still doesn't sparkle. What's up with that? Well, I have sat still too long and the 2 phones sitting here next to me still aren't ringing so I am going to go do laundry. Here's hoping my next post will be about our referral!

Monday, July 23, 2012

This is all my fault

So, our bio kids came fast. Like, really fast. So fast that by the time Levi came I was really tired. I remember not long after he was born laying in bed talking to God. I'm pretty sure the conversation went something like this:

Thank you for my boys! I love them. Thank you for this precious little man you have given us. Please Lord, DON'T LET US HAVE ANOTHER BABY FOR A FEW YEARS. I'd love to wait to get pregnant again until at least after Levi is 2. It would be great if we could even wait 3 years...

So, as you can see, God answers prayers. Unfortunately, I just jumped the gun on my asking. However, the good news is that my baby will be three in less than a week. So, God, thank you for being good and giving me what I asked for. Now, I've learned my lesson. Can I please have a referral! :)


Some days I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. When we started this journey we knew it would be expensive. We were planning on around $25,000. That is a crazy amount of money. We have 3 little boys and we do our best to live within our means. We try to be good stewards, but even still that is a lot of money. However, this was one area I just knew God had covered.

Then we realized that costs were rising. Things need renewed that weren't factored in. Gas prices went up and so did the cost of plane tickets. Paperwork costs were rising. Doctors visits were expensive. All these things factor in to making the cost of adoption so high.  We are estimating that at this point our adoption will cost will be closer to $40,000 total. That is nuts.

I am so awed because God has provided! He has blessed us sooo much. We are so close to our goal it is crazy. At this point we are only about $5,000 away from our estimated cost. So much of that came from gifts. Friends have donated, supported fundraisers, and be so generous. I am without words for how thankful we are. Some gifts have been anonymous. Some are from friends we haven't seen in years. Some are from strangers! All gifts are so appreciated. Thank you, thank you, thank you to all who have given. Thank you to all who have prayed for us. Thank you to all who have loved us through even the tough spots. We are so thankful. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Psalm 84

Psalm 84[a]

For the director of music. According to gittith.[b] Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

How lovely is your dwelling place,
    Lord Almighty!
My soul yearns, even faints,
    for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
    for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
    and the swallow a nest for herself,
    where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
    Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
    they are ever praising you.[c]
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
    whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
    they make it a place of springs;
    the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[d]
They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
    listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield,[e] O God;
    look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
    than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
    from those whose walk is blameless.
12 Lord Almighty,
    blessed is the one who trusts in you.
This morning as I was praying God brought this Psalm to mind. It is one of my favorites. I'm so thankful for God's word. I'm thankful for the truth that my God never leaves me, and knows the plans he has for me. He knows. I don't need to. 

Today I am praying for:
A referral for our baby girl
Joy through the wait
All of the families who have recent court dates. That they would pass and  bring their babies home soon. 
For our friend's the Rogers' paperwork to be miraculously where they need it when it needs to be there. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Court Closures

Today we found out the official dates for court closures in Ethiopia. From August 22-October 1 the courts will be closed for the rainy season. The cool thing is that they will be closing later than we had anticipated. That is great. That means more court dates. There is a piece of me that is praying like crazy that we will get a referral and then get an amazingly quick court date. I am trying to remember that God's timing isn't on my schedule.

If we do have to wait until after closures it would be cool to get a date for the first week. My birthday is in early October, and I think that might be a good way to celebrate. :) Please pray for us as we wait. It is so appreciated. Today is 20 months since we joined the wait list (DTE). That is much longer than we had originally thought. Waiting is long, but we know it will be worth it. We are anxious for a call and a picture of our baby girl. Hopefully, soon we can update with some amazingly awesome news.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A typical day at #1

I wake up most mornings with exactly the same thoughts. "Please let today be the day." I go to bed with pretty much the same requests being sent up. If this is what was meant by "pray continually" then I feel like I am starting to get it.

5:40am Alarm goes off. I turn it off and roll over. First I think I want to go back to sleep. Then I ask God that today is the day the phone will ring and we will see our baby's face.
6:00 Finally decide to get up. Get dressed and look at my phone with pretty much an identical prayer. I may or may not lay hands on said phone and ask with a pretty please.
7:30 serve breakfast to my kiddos. Sit down with some cereal and yahoo group check. Lots of court dates. (Praise the LORD for He is good!) Facebook stalk the adoption page. Check Email for anything adoption related.
8:00 Work day has started. From this moment we could get a call today. Pray a little more for our babe. This time pray that she is healthy. That some one is holding her and loving her. Pray she isn't hungry.
10:00 Levi comes to me and asks for a snack. Usually I ask him to wait. I am after busy...checking the yahoo group, facebook, email, etc.
12:00 Lunch time and rest time. I reason that we won't get a call during lunch hour so I let my guard down. Eat something. Relax. Breathe.
2:00 The heat is on! Most people have gotten calls in the afternoon so this is prime time for a referral call. I do not go anywhere without my phone in reach. I try to distract myself with a show, chores, talking to friends on the phone. Keeping my mind busy keeps me from dwelling too much.
4:00 Deep sad sigh as I realize the probability of a phone call at this point is pretty much gone. The way I figure the work day ends at 5. I'm not sure if one hour would give them enough time to tie up all that needs done.
5:00 The work day is over and we won't get a call that day. Some days I am relieved to breathe. I may go take a shower since I don't do that during prime working hours most days. 5pm on a Friday is usually about time for a good cry. I usually just get a few minutes of tears. Ask God for a referral for next week and try to perk up.

At bedtime I find myself not being able to sleep as I repeat the same prayer over and over again. "Please, God, please let us get the call tomorrow. I know your timing is perfect. I know you have this all planned out, but please, God, if it is your timing let us see our baby girl's face tomorrow. "

Truth be told, I'm not sure exactly how to pray. I want to be patient. I want to trust God's timing, but I also really want a referral...yesterday. So, I guess I just ask and wait. I try to remember that the wait after I see her face could be 10 times harder since I can't yet touch her. Then once I get to hold her the wait to bring her home could be even more excruciating. I know God knows all the details. I trust he is working all things together for good. But I wait excitedly for that call until then.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Blown Away

We are in awe. We are blown away. There are no words to say how thankful we are. This past weekend we did a little competition between Dan and myself. We thought we would see who could bring in the most in donations in three days.

We stole the idea from some of Daniel's friends who also have adopted. We were hoping to raise a few hundred dollars. To our amazement we raised so much more! Our grand total was $2330! Amazing, amazing, amazing! I can't begin to express how overwhelmed we are by the gifts we were given.

We cannot wait to see our little girl. We are so excited to see how the rest of her story unfolds. We are praying this time of waiting will come to a close soon, but we wait with excitement. Thank you to all who gave and, to all who are praying with us. Your support means more than you know.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This could be fun!

So, since there has been movement and we are number 1 we are planning a little friendly competition between my hubby and myself. We have partnered with Adopttogether.org/thegarmans to help raise funds to bring home our baby girl.

So, Dan and I thought it would be fun to see which of us could raise the most by Saturday at midnight. We decided that we would put the names of each donor from the winning team into a hat. You will get an entry for every $10. If we draw your name you will win a $25 gift card to the place of your choosing!

So here is how it works. Just go to Adopttogether.org/thegarmans and you can donate. Leave us a comment saying Team Abby (or Team Dan if you want). It is that easy. Thank you so much! We are already blown away and overwhelmed by the support of our friends and family. You guys are awesome!

Hello again

As you can see our updates have been few and far between. There has been little to report in the adoption world. And that which there has been to report was mostly just news of slow downs. We have been moving up the list slowly. Inching our way one spot at a time. Sometimes with weeks between referrals. The past few months have been hard.

Then last week something happened and the adoption floodgates opened. There have been over 11 referrals in the past two weeks. That is crazy. That is amazing. God is so good. As of last night we quickly raced to the spot of number 1!

This is so exciting and scary all at the same time. When you are number one you live in constant anticipation. Every phone call could be "The Call". Every email could be something huge. Today could always be the day we see our daughters face. However, there is a flip side. We could sit here. We could wait many more months. We could get caught in court closures and not here news in forever. We share number one with 2 other people. Will they get that call first and leave us in the dust. So many unknowns.

For the moment though we are basking in the excitement of being #1. We are giddy with excitement. We are thrilled with the possibility that our baby girl really could be home by Christmas.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Joy in the Journey

We started this journey over two years ago now. God, put it on our hearts when our youngest was only six months old. I had no idea what this was going to look like. I had no idea that it would be such a long hard road. I had no clue all the lessons God was going to teach me through the process of adoption. It has been painful and stretching and awesome all at the same time.

Today, I am overwhelmed with thankfulness. This process has brought me to my knees over and over again. It has strengthened my trust  and renewed my faith beyond my imagination. This journey has brought me closer to my husband and made me cherish my children even more. Through it all our friends have loved us, encouraged us, supported us, cheered with us, and cried with us. I am so blessed beyond measure! God is so good to me.

I was looking on Adopttogether this afternoon. I love seeing other families with a passion for orphan care. This journey is not easy, but there is comfort in knowing that God is in it every step of the way. I am just so thankful that He has set our family on this path, and I can't wait to see what He has ahead for us.

Friday, March 30, 2012


My favorite number has always been seven. It is the perfect number. Growing up it was how many kids I wanted. It was always my "lucky" number if you will. Well, today must be good luck because are unofficially #7!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today, we moved up a spot and there is a family who is assumed to have a referral also. That means we move up 2 spots in one day. I'd say that is  more than luck. That is a blessing. God is faithful even when we are faithless. He has proved this to us over and over again, and yet I still need the reminder.

We are praying that by some miracle our baby girl is home this year. Please pray with us that the adoption process in Ethiopia will continue to move, and that many precious children are placed with their forever families soon. Thank you for all your prayers!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Wait time

Today we got an email from our family coordinator. It said that the wait time for both boys and girls is increasing again. This time is it is going up to 18-24 months. This was a pretty significant jump. Before that it was at 14-18 months. When we started, the wait time for a female infant was 7-11 months. Needless to say, this process is taking much longer than expected.  The other thing the email said was that times are probably going to continue to increase.

This is for sure discouraging. However, we are still trusting that God has perfect timing for our family. We still feel that this is where God has us. Please keep us in prayer. Also, please keep praying for Ethiopia and adoption process. We are so thankful for all the prayers and support we are receiving along the way.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Top Ten, BABY!

Well, there have been a steady stream of referrals coming lately. Not every week, but much more than there had been. This weekend there was a referral which moved us up to the #10!!!!!!!!!!!! We are so excited to be getting closer. We love seeing the movement. Each referral to puts another child with their forever family which we love! Plus, that means we move up a space on the wait list.

Also, we are finishing up all of our renewal paperwork. I had a doctor's appointment today. I started up on some vaccinations. 1 Hep A and 1 Hep B down. Lots more to go. We had a visit from a new social worker last week to update our safety audit. All is well there. We should be sending out all our paperwork tomorrow to have the home study updated. Then we will send that off to update our I-171h. Hopefully, this should all be quick and we will be up to date and ready when our turn for a referral comes up.

We so appreciate your prayers as we continue down this journey. We are praying the movement continues and we are able to have our daughter in our arms in the near future.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Things are starting to move...

Hello, all, Daniel here hacking my wife's computer.  Thought I might take the opportunity to let you in on the good news that just about got me knocked down the stairs, potentially breaking both of my ankles and shattering a rib or two.  Well, maybe that's a little bit of an over-exaggeration, but you get the idea.  SO ANYWAY, we've been spending the evening cleaning the basement sorting through and throwing away toys.  It's been quite an evening, as the boys have done more playing than cleaning, although hearing them get excited about bringing toys from the garage that have been in hibernation for the past six months has been exciting.

Asher: "Oh my goodness, you got the lincoln logs back out!"
Me: "Asher, you're standing on the box, and that has been out the whole time."
Asher: "oh, yeah."

Abby and I had gone upstairs to make out for a minute to put some toys aside to go back out to the garage, and she gets a text from Tami.  As I'm halfway down the cluttered stairs (toys are literally everywhere in the basement right now), I hear massive amounts of squealing, "we moved up, get out of the way!" and start getting shoved to the bottom of the stairs.  Seriously, it's a good thing I have the ridiculous agility of a cat otherwise I would have, well, you already read that part.  Abby runs to the computer, because things really aren't true until she sees them for herself, even if told by a trusted friend (or maybe I'm still bitter over getting shoved down the stairs, forcing me to dodge miniature pirates and OUR CHILDREN PLAYING WITH THEM).  Lo and behold, Tami wasn't pulling her leg.

CONGRATULATIONS, WE'RE UP TO #12 ON THE WAIT LIST!  God has been so good in bringing us to this point, and we know that He will continue to carry us through the rest of the process.  After months of stillness, we're starting to make some headway, which is so encouraging.  Hang on, Amelia, we're coming for you!

Check out our new fundraising site and help us out!  We couldn't do it without all of your support!  And, THANK YOU for your continued donations and prayers!

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Yesterday morning we headed down to Cinci to get fingerprinted again. Ah, the joy of renewing adoption paperwork. It was nice that we were in and out very quickly. We had all three boys with us. God is good and every one was happy and cooperative! Now we just wait for our updated I 171H.

Next up, I need to schedule doctor appointments. In order to update our homestudy we must update our physicals. I'm hoping we can all go in together and get every one done at once. We'll see how that goes.

Another exciting thing is that there was another referral today! Actually our agency had two referrals, but one of them was for a three month old girl! Meaning we move up a spot. We are now number fourteen on our unofficial list. Can I get a WHAT WHAT! I'm a little excited. It has been an eventful week for adoption news.

In other exciting news we are now officially a family on Adopttogether. We heard about this site through a friend, and we are so excited to see how God uses it to help bring home our baby girl. It is a non profit organization that allows you to donate to our adoption. You can check out our profile if you like and we'd love your help if you are able to give.

I think that is it for now. I am so excited to be seeing some movement in the adoption world. It has been much to quiet for too long. Hopefully, I will have more to update soon.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Something to talk about

I'll be honest. I haven't written on our blog in so long because there just hasn't been much happening. Each month passes and we reach another milestone. We will be at 14 months on 1/19. However, there is so little going on I'm just not excited to post. Sorry, but it's true.

However, we have hit a milestone worth writing about (I guess). It is time to start renewing paperwork! WOOOO HOOO. Ok, so that may be a little sarcastic. We have gone far past what we had anticipated our wait being. So far in fact we get to renew our homestudy. We go down to Cinci next week to redo our finger prints for our I-171H (a form we have to fill out for the USCIS).  Praise the Lord we get one free renewal because that one form is expensive.

What I didn't realize is that renewing our home study would be so involved. We have to renew our physical, background checks, fingerprints  (yep, 2 sets) and a handful of other stuff. Plus, this is an additional expense.  Boo.

All that being said I am strangely happy to have SOMETHING to do. It was almost nice when we were paper chasing because there was some kind of movement. So again it isn't just sitting and waiting and praying for a flood of referrals (even though that hasn't changed). Now I have stuff to get done. I love a checklist. So, here it goes. Paper chase round 2 here we come.